Tuesday, November 6, 2012

8 Things...

I've mentioned the daily Family Minute emails I get...and yesterday the topic was 8 Things to be Thankful for, and given its "Thankful Month" in our house, I thought that I would share the message with all 4 of you(I am guessing thats the # of people who are still reading this blog considering I rarely update with anything eye catching) I will also add my own personal flavor as well.

1. Be thankful for family.

We are all where we are today because our parents or guardians raised us. Hopefully, we have taken all the positive lessons from them and are applying them to our lives. If you are married and have children, be thankful for the blessing of your family. If you are single, be thankful for your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.

Me: I am thankful that our family is so very supportive.  They are supportive of our children and they are supportive of our marriage.  Brad surprised me with a night away, which we very badly needed, and his Parents came up to stay with the girls - we are very thankful for that.  And my Parents are so generous with their time when they are here, we are so thankful the girls are able to spend so much time with their grandparents.  I am also very thankful that my immediate family is so forgiving.  I often raise my voice (shame on me) and feel bad about it later, I carry the guilt far longer than the girls carry the hurt, they are so forgiving, its inspiring. And my darling husband, holy smokes, that man, he deserves a medal, I take most things out on him and he doesn't deserve it, but he handles it like a champ - so thankful for him.

2. Be thankful for friends.

True friends encourage us, motivate us, and push us to do better. Take time to call them and thank them for all the great things they have done. Show your gratitude by also being a great friend to others.

Me: I have always cherished my friendships but have found over the last year that I haven't been able to dedicate as much time to them as I would like, but I am hoping that the New Year will help me prioritize my friends where they belong, towards the top of my list.  I am so very thankful for the social outlet my friends give me, the support they offer and I value the amount of laughter that usually comes along with friend time - in fact, I am very much looking forward to a "hood girls night out".

3. Be thankful for a home and for nourishment.

If you have a home, be thankful you have a place to rest and relax. Hopefully your home is also a place of safety and encouragement. Truly show you are thankful for your home by supporting organizations who help those who have no homes. In addition, we should be thankful we have the opportunity to eat on a daily basis. If you have plenty, please show your thanks by helping to support agencies that care for the hungry.

ME: We are trying to share these values with the girls, trying to help them appreciate the "big things" like having a home, having power, having safe drinking water, but they are so young its hard.  While I don't want to take advantage of a sad state of affairs, like what is going on in NYC, but my Mom gave me a great idea - this is the perfect time to talk to the girls about helping others, having them donate money from their piggy banks so other little boys and girls can have a roof over their head and food to eat.

4. Be thankful for laughter.

Laughter is a gift from God which can bring great joy. Be thankful for the laughter of children, a spouse, or friends.

ME: This one goes without saying, laughing is one of my favorite things to do, I love to laugh until I cry. There is just something about personal jokes that make your sides hurt from laughing so hard.

5. Be thankful for a job.

A job is a great blessing, whether we are happy in the job we are in or not. Take the time to list out reasons you are thankful for your job. If you find this hard, don't look at your job just as a means to make money, but look at it as a way to help people.

Me: And thankfully, I actually really like my job, I am thrilled to work for a company that values work-life balance (despite the long hours this year).

6. Be thankful for the freedoms you have.

We have so many freedoms other countries do not have. It has cost some men and women time away from family, life-altering injuries, or the ultimate price – their life. Take time today to say "thank you" to someone who helped, or is helping, protect those freedoms.

Me: I am ashamed to admit it, but feel like I need to get it out there, I am not good at this, and I am not sure its my fault.  I don't know how to appreciate these freedoms when I really can't imagine living without them.  I very much appreciate them, and very much value the people who fight for our freedoms and I get goosebumps and teary just thinking about those who have lost their lives, I never miss a chance to say thank you, but I feel like I could do more to really be thankful for this one, its just hard because this is all I've know, and I don't mean that in a entitled, ungrateful way, ya know?

7. Be thankful for those who have made a positive impact in your life.

All of us have had people in our lives that have made a positive impact. It may have been a teacher, coach, pastor, youth worker, Sunday school teacher, or a family member. Be thankful that these people were placed in your life and give to others as they have given to you.

Me: I have a lot of solid role models in my life, some I've lost touch with and others that I admire from afar, but I am thankful that I can identify folks in my life that have really kept me on a positive track.

8. Be thankful for your health.

If you are reading this, you are probably a person in good health. Be thankful for that. However, there may be people in your family and community that are not as fortunate. Take time to help someone this week

Me: This is one that scares me, I am always terrified that the "health shoe" is going to drop on our family, but we have been very blessed in this category.  While we deal with small trials here and there, we are blessed and we should do more to help those who could use a little pick me up.

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